A Farewell Dinner

bya Gabrielle at 4:46 AM

It sank in a little more today that I am really going to China. In just 3 days 8 hours 11 minutes and 14 seconds(as of the

time this was typed) Phil and I will be leaving . . . sing a long with . . . “on a jet plane” . . . and there will be no turning back. There will be no passing go. No collecting $200. Only a 10 month contract of teaching English staring us in the face. And if we are really lucky, probably some of the most awesome adventures of our lives will shortly follow suit. I am really, really, hoping for the latter.

Thursday, August 24th, 2006 will probably be the longest day of my natural life. I am banking on the excitement factor to make the day seem shorter than it will. But 14.5 hours on a plane is 14.5 hours on a plane regardless of how excited you are. Someone seriously needs to invent the teleportation step or something. It would sure make traveling around the world a billion times easier. I would name my company “Particles in Motion” if I was the awesome person to invent it and my slogan would go something like – “Particles in Motion – Where you’re more than just a speck of flesh floating through the air – Happy Particling!” A billion dollar idea people, I promise.

But anyway, back to the whole – “Oh My God, I’m Going to China” bit.

Today a good time was had by all. Because when you feed people yummy goodness, people automatically become happy little gofers. The consumption of food makes your endorphins dance! And when you are happy – you smile. Here are some pictures full of lots of happy proof.

Those are my cousins, Aja and Cody. Smiles from ear to ear. And no, these are not alcoholic grins. Our farewell party was drier than a desert well. Phil and I will make up for it later, I’m sure. There will be lots of “bottoms up” in China. The word for that goes something like Gan Bei. I am such a light weight – the Chinese drinking habits are gonna kick my American booty.

The joy of food is dancing in their eyes. Can’t you see it? It is a lot more evident in Sharon’s eyes than in Christopher’s. At least now the mystery of Red Eye has been revealed to us. Red eyes must equal happy full stomachs. And we all know that cameras never, ever lie!

Mother, you will just have forgive me later for posting this picture. Don’t fret, you look fine. In fact, you look more than fine. Your immense happiness is radiating on the photograph behind you. You couldn’t hide it if you tried.

I know what you are thinking and it simply not true. My Granny was the happiest person at the dinner, she just couldn’t decide on a way to express it when I snapped this picture. My Aunt Bevy, though, her smile says it all.

These two fine folks are the sweetest people in the whole wide world. If you were to look up happiness in the dictionary, you would find their faces posted beside it. I am so very glad I got to see them before I left. Nancy and Jim are truly wonderful

Terence was so flippin happy, he received the Yellow Napkin of Happiness Achievement Award. Overwhelmed by this occurrence, he was unavailable for comment at the time this photo was taken. He said he would get back to me on his acceptance speech very, very soon.

And then there is us. We couldn’t be any happier about our decision to go to China to teach English. We are busting at the seams, even more so than everyone else. There are so many different emotions running through us right now, but that is only natural. And I am sure that soon we will feel right at home. I never thought I would call China home.

But on a more serious note: I will miss you all very much, even though we will be gone for just 10 months. It will be the first time that I have ever been this far from my family and friends for this long of a time. I wish that you all could come over for a visit, but since you can’t – I will be your eyes and ears.

Categories: America,China,Food
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